My research aims to understand deformation in the lithosphere over a range of levels, conditions, and spatial scales, with a particular focus on processes that affect its dynamic evolution, including: the growth and collapse of orogenic systems; feedbacks between deformation and melt migration in the mid-crust through upper mantle; and mechanisms of strain localization and rheological weakening. Understanding these processes across a range of spatial scales and tectonic settings requires a multidisciplinary approach that makes use of a variety of analytical methods, which are best complemented by research fundamentally rooted in comprehensive field-based investigation.
As a quantitative, field-oriented geologist, my approach to research incorporates: detailed field-based mapping and structural analyses, crystallographic textural analyses using electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), magnetic fabric characterization including the anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS), geochronology and thermochronology studies, and petrologic investigations to further our understanding of how intrinsic rock properties (e.g., composition, melt fraction, grain size, crystallographic texture) and extrinsic conditions (e.g., pressure-temperature conditions, deformation history) affect lithospheric processes through time.
A note to prospective / interested students:
I am always looking for motivated graduate and undergraduate students interested in furthering their geoscience education in the broad field of structure and tectonic studies. I have a number of active research projects that are currently funded and new opportunites are always arising. I encourage you to look at the types of research projects that I am currently working on, as well as my past research publications, and do not hesitate to contact me for any additional information using the information provided on the home page.
External Research Funding:
NSF-ANT 1246320: Integrated evaluation of mantle xenoliths from the Fosdick Mountains, Antarctica. Seth C. Kruckenberg (PI), National Science Foundation, Antarctic Earth Sciences Program (Jan 2013 - Dec 2014).
NSF-EAR 1050041: Collaborative Research: Effects of structural and compositional heterogeneity on upper mantle deformation and rheology. Basil Tikoff (PI) and Seth C. Kruckenberg (Co-PI), National Science Foundation, EAR-Tectonics Program (Feb 2011 - Jan 2014).
EAR-PF 0816245: Evaluating Strain localization, melt localization, and mantle rheology in Twin Sisters Ultramafic Body, Washington: A multi-scale approach, Seth C. Kruckenberg (PI), National Science Foundation, Division of Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship (Jun 2009 - May 2011).
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